Devastation in Gaza, seen from above (Pic: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs)
Around 22 Palestinians have been killed in fresh Israeli attacks on Gaza since the ceasefire collapsed on Tuesday of this week. They include a number of children and a pregnant woman.
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised a “continued campaign” in Gaza at a press conference on Wednesday.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign has called an emergency demonstration outside Downing Street in central London on Saturday.
The first new airstrikes since Israel resumed its assault included an attack on the home of Mohammed Deif. He is military commander of Hamas, the Palestinian resistance group and elected government.
They failed to kill him, but did kill three people including his wife and 8 month old son. Deif has been Israel’s number one target for many years, and has been left severely disabled by repeated assassination attempts.
He is known as “the ghost” due to his success at evading detection.
The following day Israeli airstrikes killed Hamas commanders Raed al-Attar, Mohammed Abu Shamala and Mohammed Barhoum.
The previous ceasefire had been the longest since Israel began Operation Protective Edge in July. It began with a 72 hour ceasefire on Monday of last week, and was later extended for talks.
Israel blamed Hamas for breaching the latest ceasefire with rockets.
But Palestinian resistance factions have not claimed responsibility for any rockets fired before the Israeli airstrikes. They say Israel was desperate for an excuse to abandon the ceasefire talks and resume the airstrikes.
There had been complaints within Israel that its usually effective intelligence service, Shin Beit, was failing to deliver. The government has faced pressure to show it can beat the Palestinian resistance.
Israel has lost more soldiers in Operation Protective Edge than in its two previous attacks on Gaza—Operation Cast Lead in 2008-9 and Operation Pillar of Defence in 2012—combined.
Israel has long claimed to target Hamas leaders. But its attacks on schools, hospitals and disabled care facilities had more to do with punishing the people of Gaza for resisting.
Other airstrikes on Wednesday killed seven members of one family, and struck the offices of al Aqsa TV station.
The Palestinian death toll now stands at over 2,000.
Emergency Demonstration for Gaza
- Stop Arming Israel
Saturday 23rd August. 12.30 - 3pm
Outside Downing Street, London
(Nearest tube: Westminster
Called by Palestine Solidarity Campaign